Weak vs. Strong Heroines (screen edition)


We’ve all seen them. The movies or television shows that make you want to throw your television out of the window of your sixth floor apartment, completely aware it will kill someone but you just need to cleanse after watching that crap. Sometimes it’s not even the show itself. Sometimes the show is so amazing you find yourself praising the movie and tv gods for bringing you the show….and add in the addendum that you wish they would kill off Character X.


We’re here again today kids to talk about the weak, annoying, whiny heroines or supporting female characters that make you want to vom in your mouth; and the strong kick ass ones that make you just WISH you looked that good in leather pants and could wield a weapon with such grace and finesse. (No, I will not spend the entire blog article talking about Kate Beckinsale in Underworld, even though really…can we say I wish I was Selene? or Sienna Guillory in Resident Evil 2. Because, yeah…Jill Valentine definitely made that movie. No disrespect to Milla or anything but…Jill did it all in a skirt.)


Lost Girl. Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Doctor Who (the reboot for the purposes of this entry). Battlestar Galactica (also the reboot for the purposes of this entry). What do these all have in common? Shows I LOVE. With every fiber of meing I love them. So, it’s a little painful for me to say some of the things I’m going to say about them. But they have little to do with the overall merit of the show, its mostly the characters I am going to highlight.

Last time we gathered, we discussed the weak and strong heroines from two novels. (Addendum. I have been told that by the END of the Twilight Snore-ga Bella becomes a stronger character. So, let me say my opinion is based on solely having read the first book. But still, why do we have to wait four books for a character to become what he/she should have been all along. I personally have issues with this.) So this time, we’re going to talk about the females in these shows.

Let’s start off with Buffy the Vampire Slayer. A show that, for the seven seasons it graced televisions everywhere, I was in love with it. I watched it religiously every week since day one. I wrote fanfictions about it. Hell I even roleplayed with my friends online. But one thing in all my teenage Buffy obsessed fandom rang true. I FUCKING HATED BUFFY. She’s a strong, kick ass lady. I’ll give her that. But she was whiny and “oh woe is me” ALL THE TIME. Thank heavens for the likes of Willow, Giles and Xander because really without them I doubt I would have watched the show. Sure, some small part of me probably like Buffy a little. But when it came down to it….I just felt that for someone so strong and powerful, she really just wallowed in her self-pity. Now. I know Willow is the complete anti-thesis of the strong heroine, at first. But she wasn’t marketed as the Heroine. She was the side kick. I have a high tolerance for side kicks. Besides, Willow really leapt into the whole supernatural world head first. Go Willow go. Buffy….yeah I killed her off in a lot of my fanfictions, and not in nice ways either. She may have been able to slay the forces of evil, but she couldn’t get her own head together. If she listened to her friends more, she probably would have been an amazingly well rounded strong female heroine.

Lost Girl. What can I say about this show other than it is sheer Canadian crack. (SyFy will be airing it now as well, thank heavens.) It centers, for those who have never seen it, around a Succubus named Bo. Bo one day finds herself in the world of the fae, a world she never knew existed. Hell, she never even knew what she was. That is until she saves Kenzi (OH KENZI HOW I LURVE HER) from a rapist in an elevator. Sucking the man’s love energy and life right out of him. Bo is an unaligned Fae, and Kenzi. Well cute, stupid, funny human Kenzi is the best sidekick and friend Bo could ever hope for. Bo is as strong as they come. She’s smart, she’s tough and she’s not afraid to fight the big wigs to get a straight answer. Sure, the show’s got a lot of sex. buuuut when your main character is a Succubus who needs to feed off sexual energy to stay alive. Plus, it’s always a sideline gig. Well, except for the rocky relationship between Bo and Dyson. But really. You need to watch the show. Bo is one of my favorites. I wish every character I write would be half as awesome as Bo because…really, she exemplifies EVERYTHING I’ve been talking about in these two posts. Kenzi is just the best too. Trust me, you watch the show, you love her. And her Kenzi quips. They are legendary.

Doctor Who. I watched Doctor Who on PBS and other stations when I could before this reboot. Mmm. Tom Baker. I loved him man. I really truly loved him. When the reboot came on tele, I almost didn’t watch the whole first season. Actually, I didn’t at first. Because I couldn’t stand Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor….and i HATED Rose. Rose Tyler. By far the worst companion ever. Really, and I ADORE Billie Piper. I just felt Rose was….sad. She was so in love with the Doctor. That was all that mattered. I just…I wanted to claw my brain to bits whenever I watched it. Thankfully Series 2 brought us David Tennant. He was what made me give it another shot. Despite Rose (who I DO love for giving us the immortal Captain Jack Harkness. Without her sucking in the Time Vortex, Captain Jack wouldn’t be sexy AND immortal) being Rose, David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor was…brilliant. But yeah, Rose…thank god she left and we got MARTHA. Mmmm. Martha Jones. Now there is one sweet and sassy companion that could handle herself.

Last but certainly not least we have battlestar Galactica. Now, anyone who has seen the reboot knows what I’m going to say. STARBUCK. STARBUCK STARBUCK STARBUCK. (Let’s ignore the end because really that ticked me off) and talk about Starbuck as the kick ass, take names and rough and tumble pilot that she is. Starbuck is what every female action lead should be. She saves herself, she’s smart, okay sometimes she’s REALLY rash but no one is perfect. Starbuck (who’s portrayal really couldn’t have been done by anyone BUT Katee Sackhoff) is for me, the perfect female heroine. She’s one you can look at and say “You know what. I want to be just like her.” And sure, while we aren’t going to be flying around fighting Cylons anytime soon…we can all take a lesson from Kara “Starbuck” Thrace. Just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you can’t save the world, defend yourself or be the key to finding the long lost home planet….and then consequently POOFING in the last episode, leaving fans everywhere sad and angry. Okay, went a little overboard there but there you go.

So. Lesson learned. Strong female characters=GOOD. Weak female characters=BAD. And weak and strong doesn’t just mean their physical strength. It applies to their emotional strength as well. You can have the strongest person in the world but if they have a weak mind they’re pretty much good for nothing but bashing skulls in. That might be good for the male leads, but females need to have smarts AND braun in order to make it. It’s a rough world out there. So, let’s get on the strong heroine bus and…yeah that sounded awful. I’m gonna stop now. Until next time!


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